Apple Business Connect: how you can use it to boost your local SEO
Earlier this month, Apple launched its alternative to Google Business Profile, Apple Business Connect.
What does this mean for your small business, and what are the benefits of creating an Apple Business Connect account? Let’s take a look.
What is Apple Business Connect?
Apple Business Connect is a platform designed for single and multi-location businesses to enhance the information shown about them in Apple Maps. It was previously known as Apple Maps Connect, but has had a substantial refresh.
Apple Maps is the default map system on all Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. It is also used by web browsers like DuckDuckGo as well as Siri when it responds to a voice query.
When you click on a specific place in Apple Maps, it opens what is known as a ‘place card.’ This place card contains valuable information about the venue, including opening hours, contact details, and photos.
Apple Business Connect lets companies claim the place card belonging to their business. This is done by receiving a verification code by phone or submitting proof of address, like a utility bill.
As well as being able to update and amend the data on the place card, businesses can make the most of additional features, including:
- Uploading menus and price lists
- Providing news updates and product information
- Offering product discounts
- Responding to chat queries
- Showing a link to the relevant website
- Letting customers make reservations and order products
You can also take advantage of the insights that Apple Business Connect provides, including how many times people tapped your place card, and what they searched for to find you. This gives you valuable data you can use in your marketing campaigns.
How does Apple Business Connect compare with Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) has long been the local SEO tool of choice for companies worldwide.
Not only does the platform provide Google with additional details about your business, but it increases the chances of you appearing in the ‘Snack Pack.’ This is the pack of three local businesses that appear at the top of Google when a particular search query is used.
Google Business Profile and Apple Business Connect offer very similar services. For example, both let you respond to reviews, chat with prospective customers, and capture leads. This means that if you already have a Google Business Profile, it will be easy to keep your Apple Business Connect profile up to date.
The main difference between Apple Business Connect and Google Business Profile are the services they integrate with. While Google Business Profile works with Google Search, Apple Business Connect works with Apple Maps.
Given that Google processes over 8.5 billion searches a day, this means you’re more likely to be seen with a Google Business Profile.
Will this change in the future? It’s important to remember that Apple Business Connect is still very new, and it may introduce additional features over time. We’ll keep you up to date with any updates.
How can Apple Business Connect benefit you as a small business?
When you’re a small business that offers a product or service in a specific geographic area, it’s crucial to optimise your website for local SEO.
Slightly different from ‘traditional SEO’, local SEO focuses on ensuring people can find your business in the local search results.
For example, let’s say you run a coffee shop in Victoria, TX. When people search for ‘coffee shops near me’ or ‘the best coffee in Victoria’, you want to make sure you’re as close to the top of the search results as possible.
Using platforms like Apple Business Connect can help improve your local SEO. Here are three reasons why:
1. You’re telling Apple about your business
When you sign up for Apple Business Connect, you’re providing Apple Maps with additional context about your business – where it is, what it does, what products and services it offers.
This gives Apple extra information it can use to ensure that you appear for the correct search queries.
2. You’re helping potential customers make a decision
Let’s imagine that you’re looking for emergency plumbers near you on Apple Maps.
Plumber A has a basic place card with a name and address. Plumber B has a list of services, a rates card, lots of reviews from satisfied customers, and online chat where you can talk to someone about the issue you’re having.
Chances are that you’re going to go with plumber B!
3. You’re showing Apple you’re a trusted resource
Finally, by verifying your business and providing up-to-date information, you’re telling Apple Business Connect that your company is active and valid.
This means you’re more likely to be recommended to prospective customers. After all, Apple doesn’t want to put its reputation on the line by suggesting closed or low-quality businesses.
Our thoughts about Apple Business Connect
Nearly half of all smartphone users in the US use an Apple iPhone. So while Apple Business Connect may not be seeing the same amount of traffic as Google Business Profile, it still makes this brand-new platform worth signing up for!
Signing up for both Apple Business Connect and Google Business Profile means you get maximum outreach when it comes to your online presence, whether people use Google or Apple Maps.
It’s free to create an account on Apple Business Connect; all you need is an Apple ID. You can do this even if you don’t own an Apple product.
Want to take control of your local marketing? We can help
If you plan to make 2023 the year you boost your local SEO, find new customers, and increase sales; we can help you drive more business to your website.
Our SEO experts will audit your site, create a bespoke SEO strategy tailored to your goals, and make changes that will drive your business forward.
Get in touch today to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation.